Tag Archives: Hysteria

Franz Liszt and Lisztomania: “Le concert, c’est moi”

Elizabeth Colledge Jacksonville, Florida, United States   “In the Concert Hall” during a performance of Franz Liszt. 1842 print from Stadtarchiv Weimar, the archives of the city of Weimar, Germany. In Heresies of Music: An A-Z Diagnostic Guide. Much has been written about the hysteria accompanying Beatlemania, and before that, the frenzies generated by Elvis, […]

Silas Weir Mitchell and causalgia

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Silas Weir Mitchell. Photo by Frederick Gutekunst, 1881. National Library of Medicine. Via Wikimedia. Public domain. Silas Weir Mitchell (1829 – 1914) (Fig 1) was born in Philadelphia, the seventh physician in three generations. Webb Haymaker gives an early clue to his unconventional personality when he […]

In sickness and in health: misogyny in medicine

Shreya Sharma Ontario, Canada   Image by Rene Asmussen from Pixabay “You see, he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do?”1 These words, spoken by the unnamed narrator of Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s 1892 short story The Yellow Wallpaper, could have been articulated by many women about their medical experiences. Women have […]

A brief history of menstruation

Fangzhou Luo Portland, Oregon, United States   Philammon declaring his love for Hypatia. Wikimedia Commons. Public domain. After a few failed attempts to redirect a flirtatious student to “higher pleasures” like music, the Ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Hypatia resorted to revealing where she was in her menstrual cycle to deter him. The philosopher who recorded […]

A history of blood: hysteria, taboos, and evil

Danielle Dalechek Norfolk, Virginia, United States   The witch no. 1. Joseph E Baker. c1892. Library of Congress. No known restrictions on publication. “Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood?”  —Carl Jung   Historically, the opposite of purity was often viewed and represented as […]

W.H.R. Rivers and the humane treatment of shell shock

Soleil Shah London, UK   A shell-shocked soldier receives electro-shock treatment from a nurse during the First World War. Image Source: Otis Historical Archives National Museum of Health and Medicine (ref Reeve 041476) via Flickr “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.” – Hippocrates War neurosis, or “shell shock” […]

Art and the myth of the “wandering womb”

Laurinda Dixon New York, United States   The Doctor’s Visit, 1663 Jan Steen Taft Museum of Art Seventeenth-century Dutch paintings bearing modern titles such as “The Doctor’s Visit” or “The Lovesick Maiden” are common.1 They were once produced in great numbers and, with some variations, illustrate the same thing. The example by Jan Steen in […]